Private Papers of Captain J S Gray

Catalogue number
  • Documents.6498
  • whole: 2 boxes
private papers

History note

Catalogue date 1997-05-22

History note

Cataloguer SNR

Content description

2 volumes of his well-written, detailed and forthright ms diary (1150pp, written 1945 - 1948, illustrated with photographs and diagrams) recording his career as an NCO and officer with the Royal Artillery, November 1938 - October 1945, including: enlisting in the TA, Brighton, November 1938, in response to the Munich Agreement; his service as an NCO with the 460th Battery, 70th (Sussex) Searchlight Regiment RA (27th AA Brigade, 6th AA Division) in Sussex, November 1938 - January 1940; the Operations Room, RAF Biggin Hill, Kent, January - March 1940, contrasting the RAF and the Army; 220th Searchlight Training Regiment, Yeovil, Somerset, March - June 1940, mentioning the arrival of survivors from Dunkirk, May 1940; 341st Coastal Battery RA, No 11 Coastal Artillery group, Hastings, June 1940 - January 1941; 292nd Coast Battery, 519th Coast Regiment RA, Dover, January - May 1941, attending Coastal Artillery School, Llandudno, March 1941; 348th Coast Battery, 508th Coast Regiment RA, Tyne Coastal Defences, South Shields, May - September 1941; 50th Anti-Tank Training Regiment RA, Church Stretton, Shropshire, September - October 1941; No 122 OCTU RA (Anti-Tank), Larkhill, Wiltshire, October 1941 - January 1942; Q Battery, 86th Anti-Tank Regiment RA, Chatham, Cranbrook and Lamberhurst in Kent, February - October 1942; 519th Coast Regiment RA, Dover, October 1942 - April 1944; Interviewing Officers Course No 13, War Office, London, April - May 1944; as a Personnel Selection Officer (PSO) evaluating, testing, and selecting troops for the Army with 55th Primary Training Wing (PTW), 5th Infantry Training Corps (ITC), Richmond, Yorkshire, May - October 1944; the AA Disbandment Scheme, Bedworth, Warwickshire, October - November 1944; and Reception and Selection Wing, No 10 Holding and Selection Centre in Aldershot, November 1944 - February 1945, and Enghien, Belgium, February - August 1945, when he was demobilised; and commenting on his duties; army life; conditions; mobilisation, August 1939; the lack of preparedness for war; the equipment; his off-duty entertainment, notably ballroom dancing, meeting his wife, and sport; officer-men relations; German air raids on the southern coast of England; the preparations for a German invasion in 1940; his fellow officers and men; officer training; marriage allowances; and his reactions to the war; and mentioning Lieutenant General Sir James Gammell; Field Marshal Lord Montgomery; Brigadier C W Raw; and Wendell Wilkie.

Associated subjects